Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What is true about hunting and gathering societies?
(a) They spent more time hunting than they did in farming.
(b) All adopted agriculture as soon as introduced.
(c) Many did not adopt crops when they were introduced to them.
(d) They worked more hours in each day than they did farming.

2. Why were the Europeans not affected by the infectious diseases that they brought to places like the Americas and Australia?
(a) They practiced better sanitation.
(b) They had already acquired immunity.
(c) They had a natural resistance to the diseases.
(d) They were genetically superior to other groups.

3. When did the history of humans begin?
(a) 1 million years ago
(b) 2 thousand years ago
(c) 7 million years ago
(d) 15 million years ago

4. What factor meant that population could grow?
(a) A nomadic lifestyle
(b) The availability of shelter materials
(c) The availability of more consumable calories
(d) Fewer natural predators

5. How does Diamond feel about the traditional theories of human development?
(a) He feels that they are wrong.
(b) He believes that intelligence differences separated people.
(c) He agrees with most of the argument but thinks that germs played a role.
(d) He feels that they are correct.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which Spanish conquistador first encountered the Incas?

2. What allowed the Maori to have specialists and warriors as part of their society?

3. Why were early crops chosen by farmers?

4. Thirteen of the fourteen large domesticated mammals are native to which area?

5. Why was literacy important for the Spanish?

Short Essay Questions

1. What advantages did the Bantu have over other African groups?

2. What was the biggest difference between the histories of Old World Europe and the New World Americas? Why was this important?

3. What is Diamond's objective in studying the societies of Polynesia?

4. Why did Eurasia have an advantage in the domestication of animals?

5. Where did food production develop independently?

6. How does the shift to sedentary lifestyles change societies?

7. How do inventions spread between societies?

8. Why did Australia not develop writing or complex societies as early as other groups, according to Diamond?

9. What advantages did the Fertile Crescent have in domesticating plants?

10. What are the three basic strategies for writing systems?

(see the answer keys)

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